Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Panama Papers

This is the biggest scandal to rock headlines around the world in a long, long time, if not perhaps ever. After all, it confirms our worst suspicions, that there really is an unofficial "insider's club" among the haves, and that the system, supported around the world, really is geared to protect the assets of the haves at the expense of the have-nots.

The full ramifications of this amazing story, which included some 400 journalists from nations spanning the globe, are yet to be fully felt, although there has been some reaction nevertheless.

Everyone knows that the prime minister of Iceland resigned very shortly after this story hit, and that the people of Iceland made it happen, gathering in a public square almost instantly after the news hit, in a spontaneous call to action. As an American, I wish that we had something even remotely approaching that kind of political awareness and involvement here.

Which brings me to my next point.

One of the truly saddest aspects of this story, though, is where it is not making news.

Particularly here in the United States, where the elites seem to always have their ways, and very, very few are ever caught in such scandals, much less are punished once they are caught. Criminal secrecy and illegal shell company funding is something that is surely far more widespread among elites in the country than the newspapers or major news media reports. And the funny thing is, most of us seem to know that, deep down.

Yet, a major, massive effort like this, which is probably the biggest scandal in journalistic history, and it dominates new headlines around the world, except here in America, where it is needed the most.


The more things change, the more they stay the same.

In any case, this is a huge scandal, one that makes Watergate, and perhaps even the Iran-Contra scandal, both seem small by way of comparison. What an amazing bit of journalism, and let us hope that it serves to wake us up collectively!

Iceland’s Prime Minister Steps Down After Panama Papers Leaks by Ragnhildur Sigurdardottir of Reuters, April 5, 2016:

Panama Papers: a massive document leak reveals a global web of corruption and tax avoidance Updated by Matthew Yglesias on April 3, 2016:

What You Need To Know About The Panama Papers Leak by Nick Robins-Early World News Reporter, The Huffington Post, April 4, 2016:

This is much worse than the Panama Papers: How America became a world leader in tax avoidance No Americans have been implicated in the stunning document trove detailing widespread global corruption — yet DAVID DAYEN, April 5, 2016:

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